Among people with whom writing is not common the evidence of a transaction is given by some tangible memorial or significant ceremony: Abraham gave seven ewe-lambs to Abimelech as an evidence of his property in the well of Beersheba. Jacob raised a heap of stones, "the heap of witness." as a boundary-mark between himself and Laban. (Genesis 21:30; 31:47,52) The tribes of Reuben and Gad raised an "altar" as a witness to the covenant between themselves and the rest of the nation. Joshua set up a stone as an evidence of the allegiance promised by Israel to God. (Joshua 22:10,26,34; 24:26,27) But written evidence was by no means unknown to the Jews. Divorce was to be proved by a written document. (24:1,3) In civil contracts, at least in later times documentary evidence was required and carefully preserved. (Isaiah 8:16; Jeremiah 32:10-16) On the whole the law was very careful to provide and enforce evidence for all its infractions and all transactions bearing on them. Among special provisions with respect to evidence are the following:
+ The witnesses were the first executioners. (15:9; 17:7; Acts 7:58)
+ In case of an animal left in charge and torn by wild beasts, the keeper was to bring the carcass in proof of the fact and disproof of his own criminality. (Exodus 22:13)
+ According to Josephus, women and slaves were not admitted to bear testimony. In the New Testament the original notion of a witness is exhibited in the special form of one who attests his belief in the gospel by personal suffering. Hence it is that the use of the ecclesiastical term ("martyr." the Greek word for "witness," has arisen.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
Want to get the most out of Bible Gateway? Find out why Bible Gateway Plus is the ultimate toolkit for anyone seeking to grow closer to the Word. For less than the cost of a latte, Plus membership gives you access to a complete digital Bible study library and reduced banner ads. Try it free for 30 days!